Depressed cell-mediated immunity in megaloblastic anemia due to folic acid deficiency

Am J Clin Nutr. 1975 Mar;28(3):225-32. doi: 10.1093/ajcn/28.3.225.


Cell-mediated immunity has been studied in patients with 1) megaloblastic anemia of folic acid deficiency, 2)megaloblastic anemia of pregnancy, or 3) iron-deficiency anemia. Using dinitrochlorobenzene skin tests, phytohemagglutinin-stimulated lymphocyte transformation, and rosette inhibition by antilymphocyte globulin, we have shown that cell-mediated immunity is depressed in megaloblastic anemia due to folate deficiency; this depression was reversed by folate treatment. Cell-mediated immunity was not impaired by iron-deficiency anemia. Suggested interactions between iron deficiency and folate metabolism were not clarified by these studies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Africa, Southern
  • Anemia, Hypochromic / immunology*
  • Anemia, Macrocytic / immunology*
  • Anemia, Megaloblastic / drug therapy
  • Anemia, Megaloblastic / immunology*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Folic Acid / therapeutic use
  • Folic Acid Deficiency / complications*
  • Humans
  • Immune Adherence Reaction
  • Immunity, Cellular*
  • Lectins / pharmacology
  • Lymphocyte Activation / drug effects
  • Middle Aged
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Hematologic*
  • Skin Tests


  • Lectins
  • Folic Acid